Khmer Design

26Jan11

Having just returned yesterday from a trip to Cambodia, I would like to quickly share these two wonderful simple designs that I came across over there: sandals made from old tires and a bamboo jaw’s harp.

Even though an artifact of the Khmer Rouge killing regime, that has devastated Cambodia in the 70’s with an aftermath present til today, those sandals are a very inventive and functional design – true to the maxim that necessity is the mother of invention: No additional materials other than old tires are used, not even an additional fixing – the rubber straps are just put through slots on the sole. Apparently these sandals were part of the Khmer Rouge uniform – even Pol Pot was wearing them.

The bamboo jaw’s harp is carved from one single strip of bamboo and has a beautiful warm sound – which I prefer to the one of its »metal brothers«. Plus it works perfectly! Yet another example of how reduction & simplicity in most cases automatically generates good design.

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